The courses such as CA, ACCA, CS are all courses that require a lot of dedication and hard work. It would, without doubt, be a challenge to study under these circumstances and then there are unforeseen circumstances such as you failing in an attempt. You then need to be mentally strong else you cannot put in that same amount of effort to attempt the exams yet again.
But the question is this, can one try and be mentally strong, is it a trait that can be taught or are some born that way? With us writing the blog you may have kind of figured out that it is definitely a skill that can be learned.
Self-motivation is the key to being a professional. There may be many pitfalls or deviations to your initial plan but it is paramount that you learn how to get back on the road and complete the journey. There are going to be instances it may be just you motivating and pushing yourselves to do better.
With some mental training skills, it is possible for you to recover even after a tough time. Fair warning, by the way, you have to put in the hard work and learn, because there is no substitute for that. The tips we are going to discuss are going to help you to overcome the tough times and see a brighter future for yourself.
5 actionable steps to increase your mental strength
This is a very effective method, mostly used by great athletes and players. So when focusing on examinations, keeping an eye on the end result. This method will definitely help you, but how?
Give yourself a positive end result.
Well, one way is to visualise yourself passing. Visualise yourself writing and passing your exam. Visualise your parents, siblings and friends praise you after you clear your exam. Feel it and feel it with joy. Tell yourself I can do this.
This visualisation exercise is different from mere daydreaming. This is more of a visceral event where you try and feel every emotion that comes with the elation of passing and your proud peers. You don’t have to engage in it excessively. Practising this mental exercise for about 5 minutes a day should be enough!
Meditation is one of the most talked-about aspects of many self-help books and for good reason. Relaxing the mind is a time tested and foolproof way of building mental toughness. Mindfulness meditation is the best way to go about it and of the more established routines. In order to do this, you need to be in a quiet room and focus on your breathing. You take a breath in and out. Be aware of your present condition. You are merely going to be an observer of the time passing by. Don’t try to force thoughts out, just be aware of them as you focus on your breathing.
There are many apps that are available in the market such as headspace, calm, etc which will help you with this. Pick the one that suits your needs and use it well.
Be aware of yourself
Self-awareness is key. This doesn’t mean you suddenly turn into Buddha, just that you will be mindful of your strengths and weaknesses. Have a swot analysis for yourself. Know what are the things that work for you and what are the triggers that demotivate you. For eg: you may feel like studying better when there is some music in the background. You know what exactly works for you. So use that to your advantage.
Think back and make a note of what you were doing during times you were in your zone. What are the things that you did that motivated or challenged yourself? Also, what are the things that made you anxious, or brought about negative energy?
Having a daily journal is also a great way to jot down your moods and thoughts. During what times were you able to study well? Also, keep an eye out for negative triggers. Keep social media at bay! Keep your devices far away from you when you sit down to focus and study.
Now what to do when you have negative thoughts?
Despite everything you may try, it’s only natural you have negative thoughts. Thoughts like I’m not gonna pass, I don’t think I have what it takes to do this? Who do I think I am to have taken this up, I don’t want to study anymore… Do these find familiar? Everyone has them, even the ones who score well. So how do you stop these? Have a mental trigger. For eg: have a rubber band in one hand that you swap to the other hand every time you have a negative thought. This will help you to be more conscious of the fact that it is a thought. Catch that thought, don’t let that define you!
Lastly and most importantly, be kind to yourself
You should always be your best cheerleader, yes mistakes will happen but don’t beat yourself up due to that. The course you are taking up is worth it, you didn’t take it up because it was easy to do. It’s okay. It’s all good. Just make sure you never give up!